EUSA Pharma Inc has announced that it has divested its monoclonal antibody research business to the French company International Drug Development (IDD).
Concurrently, EUSA has divested its recombinant L-asparaginase therapeutic research program for acute lymphoblastic leukemia to the Alize Pharma Group. EUSA acquired both the antibody business and oncology program as part of its 2007 acquisition of OPi SA.
"These two transactions further underline EUSA's ongoing success in divesting early-stage programs while retaining a clear strategic focus on late-stage and marketed products," said Bryan Morton, Chief Executive of EUSA Pharma.
"As we continue to rapidly build our business around our commercial infrastructure in the US and Europe, we are creating the opportunity to compete effectively with major players as an attractive partner for companies seeking specialist transatlantic commercialization and late-stage development expertise in the oncology, pain control and critical care areas," Morton said.
EUSA's antibody research business is based in Dardilly, France, and consists of a team of research and development scientists, laboratories and a library of approximately 600 murine antibodies, of which a high proportion are currently characterized.
The fully human anti-interleukin-6 antibody, which EUSA recently out-licensed to GlaxoSmithKline, was the first therapeutic antibody to arise from this library. Other antibodies derived from the library target indications in oncology and inflammation.
The divestment agreement for EUSA's recombinant L-asparaginase therapeutic research program includes an option for the company to license back any resulting product. This provides EUSA with access to a potential future product that has an ideal fit with the company's oncology focus.